SAVCA Lifetime Achievement Award

André Roux

SAVCA Lifetime Achievement Award

André Roux

We are thrilled to announce a SAVCA first: a Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed upon André Roux, widely regarded as the pioneer and father/godfather/grandfather of private equity in South Africa.

Exactly 40 years ago, André Roux orchestrated the very first major management buyout in South Africa, acquiring Hudaco from its international parent company. This pivotal moment marked the genesis of private equity in our region, mirroring developments seen in established markets around the world.

Under his leadership, initially with FirstCorp and FNB, André later rebranded the independent private markets business as Ethos Private Equity. Throughout his tenure, he spearheaded numerous industry firsts and developed many leaders who themselves have left a mark across the industry, cementing his legacy as a driving force behind the growth and evolution of our industry.

After stepping down as Ethos CEO in 2014, André Roux continued to make invaluable contributions across various spheres and organisations within our sector.

SAVCA is thrilled to announce this inaugural award. Please view the video below to hear from other industry leaders and colleagues about the impact André has had.

Click below to play Lifetime Achievement Award video:

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Play Video

Stories & reflections from the industry

Paul Boynton

Formerly CEO of Old Mutual Alternative Investments

"André was a seminal figure in the development of the private equity industry in South Africa. He was there at the beginning in the early 1980’s, played a massive role in the development of arguably the premier shop in town and had many folk graduate through the ranks at Firstcorp or Ethos who subsequently went on to write chapters of their own in the history-books of private equity in South Africa."

Richard Stovin-Bradford

Former journalist at Business Report, Sunday Times Business Times and Lex columnist at the Financial Times, London.

"André Roux set a high bar for South Africa’s nascent private equity sector at First Corp Capital Investors, which was the country’s largest alternative capital provider at the time. Time flies: it started life in the First National Bank stable forty years ago. And when, in late 1998, André led its transformation into an independent, management-owned and operated business, relaunching it under the Ethos Private Equity banner, he raised that bar."

Edward Pitsi

Co-founder and CEO of Infinite Partners and formerly Managing Partner of the Ethos Mid Market Fund

"André Roux - A True Stateman of Private Equity In Africa

I joined Ethos Private Equity in February 2011. Prior to joining the firm, my final interview was scheduled towards the backend of November 2010. The final interview was with the man himself."

Richard Fienberg

Formerly Partner: Value Add at Ethos Private Equity

"André has been a critical influence in my life providing both opportunity and wisdom. He catalysed a fundamental career change for me through a process which typified his character and skill. He never rushed the process, rather invested time and conversation in getting to know each other - professionally and personally - building trust, sharing insights and providing guidance; steadily steering the ship towards its destination with a blend of confidence, care, respect and insight."

John van Wyk

Formerly Head of Private Equity for Actis, previously Partner at Ethos Private Equity

"When I think about André and the influence he had on me and my career, there are a few words that come to mind. Hard work, discipline, rigour and team. I am sure there are many more, but for me these were the standout virtues. A bit about some of them below:"

Garry Boyd

Former senior executive and founding partner of Ethos Private Equity

"André is a giant of his industry. Many professionals, including me, and this is much much wider than those who worked for Ethos) owe their careers to André. Undoubtedly there is no single individual who has had nearly such wide positive ripple effect throughout the industry be it on other independents, venture versus mature businesses, the “big bank” player, the spectrum of institutional investors, true black economic empowerment, and of course Sanari is a good example of a tribute to both André and Sam."

Samantha Watermeyer

Partner and Head of Operations, Legal and Compliance at Sanari Capital

"André Roux is a remarkable man. His reputation precedes him, and I recall the trepidation with which I approached my early interactions with him. I’d heard so much about who this man was to the industry; the ground he’d broken, the mountains he’d moved. I may have had knowledge and expertise within my own field, but here I was, newly living and breathing private equity, with the doyen himself."

Cora Fernandez

Formerly Managing Director at Sanlam Investment Management, CEO of Sanlam Private Equity and previously investment professional at Ethos Private Equity

"When I joined Ethos Private Equity in 2000, I was oblivious to the fact that my entry into the asset class was under the astute watchful eye of Mr Private Equity himself, the Father of the Asset Class. I didn’t know what private equity was when I entered that faithful interview with André and Chelsea, nor did I know that my career was about to kick off."

Colin Coleman

Non-executive director, various and Adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, formerly CEO of Goldman Sachs, Sub Saharan Africa

"My heartfelt congratulations to André Roux on his Lifetime Achievement Award. André has defined private equity in South Africa, and if anyone is the King of private equity in SA, he wears that crown. Not only, in my then capacity as Partner and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs in the region, did I find André to be a professional of the highest calibre, but I was always struck by what a gentleman and good friend he was always to me, and everyone who came across his path."

Craig Dreyer

Formerly CFO at Ethos Private Equity

"Before becoming the CFO of Ethos Private Equity for 21 years, I was a partner at BDO the accounting and audit firm, when I came into contact with André and the Ethos staff (then FirstCorp Capital Partners) in 1997. I was being interviewed for the CFO position at Ethos. What struck me in the early interview process was the professional and clear manner in which the respective partners conducted themselves, during a rigorous interview process. The values of full accountability and exemplary standards was what impressed me most about the people and the organisation."

Tanya Goncalves (van Lill)

Head of Investor Relations and Impact at Metier, formerly CEO of SAVCA

"Stay true to your roots

Before I met André in 2017 when I took on the role as CEO of SAVCA, I already heard from various sources about this legend who played a pivotal role in shaping the African private equity industry. When you hear so much about someone before you’ve even met them, you start to form an opinion of this person and what they must be like in real life."

Sarah E. Alexander

Managing Principal at Private Capital Strategies, faculty lecturer at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies or formerly the Founding President and CEO of EMPEA (now GPCA)

"I write from Washington, DC, where I spent many a day and hour together with André as we strategized on how to build EMPEA (now GPCA). He lent his wisdom, ear, and support to all our efforts."

Richard Pender

Consultant and investment committee member at Kleoss, formerly one of the founding partners of Ethos Private Equity

"As one of the founding partners of Ethos, I enjoyed many happy years working with André. I think some of the most memorable were when he and I travelled the world together fund raising shortly after we formed Ethos at the end of the 1990’s. Emerging markets were not exactly the investment flavour of the month at the time, and it was hard going."

John Bellew

Head of Private Equity at Bowman Gilfillan

"I first met and worked with André in the early 1990s, on a transaction involving Nordberg, a manufacturer of crushing equipment used in the mines. Over the succeeding years I met him often on transactions that Ethos (and its predecessors in title) were working on. Whilst André would not be in the forefront of the negotiations he was always in the background keeping his finger on the pulse and stepping in where required."

Moushmi Patel

Partner and co-founder at Sanari Capital

"I do not have the words to express how grateful I am to André for all the time he spent mentoring us over the years, for believing in us, and for walking this journey with us. I treasured every moment.

André, with the help of ChatGPT and a bit of wit, I have written a poem for André:"

Niel Wyma

Co-founder of Ambit Partners, where André served as an Advisory Board Member and personal mentor

"Major themes"

Michael Katz

Chairman at ENSAfrica

"I am privileged to make some personal observations on André Roux on the occasion of the SAVCA Lifetime Achievement Award to him.

I have known André over many decades in a number of capacities.  From the time of my first meeting with André, and thereafter for so long as I have known him, I have been struck by his vast knowledge of private equity."

Sandy Olivier

Personal assistant to André Roux

I have had the privilege of working for André since 2017 when I joined him in his transition from CEO of Ethos Private Equity to Deputy Chairman of the Ethos Board. As we know André was the pioneer in establishing private equity in South Africa. In our working years together we forged a great partnership based on trust and mutual respect. What I have learnt from André over the last 7 years is quite remarkable, being involved in many of his financial activities as well as his family life. André has garnered great respect in the financial world both locally, across Africa and abroad.

Peter Schmid

Non-executive director and investment committee and advisory committee member for various firms, formerly Global Head of Private Equity at Actis, and previously a partner at Ethos Private Equity

"I had the great privilege of working with André at Ethos for 12 years.

André’s vision of creating a South African premier PE house when PE was an unknown investment concept, together with his leadership skills in creating a great team of PE professionals, culminated in Ethos raising substantial capital from some of the top global investors."

Erika van der Merwe

Investment specialist at Robeco, formerly SAVCA CEO

"André Roux is a man of excellence. I know this not so much because of my personal interaction with him -- although his sharply informed and yet warm conversation usually confirmed this -- but because of the many encounters I had with Ethos team members during the time I served at SAVCA."

Arshad Essa

Head of Private Equity at Nedbank

I wanted to share some of the things that I learnt while working under the leadership of Andre Roux. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the importance of thoroughly researching and analysing potential investments before committing to them. Additionally, I also learned from Andre that listening to views from all people, regardless of their role in the organization, is a key ingredient to a good investment decision.

Vuyo Ntoi

Co-Managing Director of African Infrastructure Investment Managers and current Chairman of SAVCA

"Ladies and gentlemen, members and friends of SAVCA

Today, we gather to honour Mr. André Roux with the inaugural André Roux Lifetime Achievement Award.

David Stadler

Formerly head of Nedbank Private Equity and chair of SAVCA

"Andre Roux was undoubtedly the private equity industry leader in Southern Africa. This was not only evidenced by the firm he formed and led and the top-class teams that he built and maintained, but by his integrity and the respect that he commanded.

Andre set the benchmark for the industry in Southern Africa and the standards to which many in the industry espoused. He struck me as quiet, attentive in discussions, steely determined and fair, with a keen interest in the development and support of the private equity industry. "

Herman Bosman

Atelier Partners, CEO at RMB and RMI

"Over the last 3 decades, I had the pleasure of working with Andre Roux in different capacities, including as advisor, counterparty and fellow board member."

Lessons learnt from André

We’d love to hear your memories of and reflections on André, please submit them here.

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Andre Roux